The fourth and final defendant indicted for a May 1998 gang-related murder was sentenced in Sonoma County Superior Court this afternoon to a year in county jail and eight years’ probation. Ambrosio Vigil, 31, pleaded no contest on July 1, 2009, to the voluntary manslaughter of 23-year-old Juan Carlos Ramirez on May 6, 1998. Vigil also admitted the murder was in furtherance of a street gang and that he used a rock. Vigil faced a 15-year prison term under the sentencing laws that were in effect at the time of the murder. Penalties for gang-related crimes and weapons enhancements now carry substantially higher sentences. The 2003 indictment alleged Vigil and three other men chased Ramirez into an alley and stabbed and bludgeoned him with rocks and concrete near Railroad Square in Santa Rosa. Vigil’s attorney George Boisseau asked Judge Lawrence Antolini for probation and no prison time, claiming Vigil had turned his life around since the slaying. Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner said the seriousness of the crime merited some state prison time. The Sonoma County Probation Department recommended a 15-year term. Waner said Vigil will serve about 30 days in the county jail because of credit for time served. Among the others indicted, Tony John James, 32, of Santa Rosa, was tried and convicted of gang-related murder with the use of a screwdriver or knife. He was sentenced in August 2006 to 25 years to life in prison. Carlos Raul Alvarez, 31, of Healdsburg, pleaded no contest to gang-related voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced in August 2006 to 10 years in prison. Gabriel Jose Miranda, 29, pleaded no contest to being an accessory and was sentenced in June 2008 to three years’ probation.
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